The Widower's Tale

The Widower's Tale

Book - 2010
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In a historic farmhouse outside Boston, seventy-year-old Percy Darling is settling happily into retirement: reading novels, watching old movies, and swimming naked in his pond. His routines are disrupted, however, when he is persuaded to let a locally beloved preschool take over his barn. As Percy sees his rural refuge overrun by children, parents, and teachers, he must reexamine the solitary life he has made in the three decades since the sudden death of his wife. No longer can he remain aloof from his community, his two grown daughters, or, to his shock, the precarious joy of falling in love.
One relationship Percy treasures is the bond with his oldest grandchild, Robert, a premed student at Harvard. Robert has long assumed he will follow in the footsteps of his mother, a prominent physician, but he begins to question his ambitions when confronted by a charismatic roommate who preaches--and begins to practice--an extreme form of ecological activism, targeting Boston's most affluent suburbs.
Meanwhile, two other men become fatefully involved with Percy and Robert: Ira, a gay teacher at the preschool, and Celestino, a Guatemalan gardener who works for Percy's neighbor, each one striving to overcome a sense of personal exile. Choices made by all four men, as well as by the women around them, collide forcefully on one lovely spring evening, upending everyone's lives, but none more radically than Percy's.
With equal parts affection and satire, Julia Glass spins a captivating tale about the loyalties, rivalries, and secrets of a very particular family. Yet again, she plumbs the human heart brilliantly, dramatically, and movingly.

Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, 2010
ISBN: 9780307377920
Branch Call Number: GLA
Characteristics: 402 p. ;,25 cm


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Jul 29, 2015

very American issues & contemporary tale with a bevy of characters - by times a good read, at others less so....

Aug 03, 2013

Holy cow ! This one had a moving , dynamic plot ! I really liked this book - You touched all the bases with this one , Julia

skd3 Aug 05, 2011

Book Club

Mar 21, 2011

A long rather mundane account of a widower's emotions and experience of widowhood and renewed love.

debwalker Jan 02, 2011

The quiet life Percy Darling created for himself after the tragic death of his wife is upended when a progressive school opens in the barn on his property.

RobertaJ Dec 15, 2010

The setting is lovely and essential to the characters and the plot, and the characters are varied in voice, temperament and age. The central character is the 70 year old patriarch of an east coast family, with two daughters and several grandchildren. The plot involves a late-life romance, the conflict between wealth and poverty, lost love, eco-terrorism and what makes a successful preschool!

A good choice if you enjoyed Morningside Heights by Cheryl Mendelsohn (one of my faves) or A Summons to Memphis by Peter Taylor.

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